Chelsea half-season review: Top four and key defensive signing a priority for Antonio Conte

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  • Chelsea have failed to live up to expectations so far this season following last year’s impressive campaign
  • Eden Hazard has been at his best so far this year
  • Securing Champions League football and building for next season is something fans can look forward to
  • SEE MORE: Hazard to Real Madrid – transfer in doubt for bizarre reason

Chelsea have had a rather disappointing start to their season this year following the record-breaking title-winning campaign they went through last season.

Despite spending big money on stars such as Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko in the summer, Blues fans will be a little less than happy to see their side so far behind Pep Guardiola’s Man City at this point in the season.

With rumours surrounding the futures of Belgian stars Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, pressure will be on boss Antonio Conte to make sure his side deliver this season and secure Champions League football for the 2018/19 season.

We’ve had a look at Chelsea’s 2017/18 campaign so far, and what fans can expect to see for their second half of the season…

Best Player

Chelsea ace Eden Hazard
Hazard has been the difference for Conte’s side this season

Was there any ever doubt for this one?

Despite missing a few games at the start of the season, Chelsea’s Belgian maestro has seen himself return to the world class form we know he’s capable of.

Contributing to 16 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions so far, Conte’s side look a completely different beast when Hazard is in the side, something Blues fans will hope they get to see long into the future.

Worst Player

Chelsea winger Willian
Willian has failed to produce when given a chance this season

There aren’t many players at Chelsea that have been poor this season, but to say that Brazilian winger has had a good season so far would be a lie.

The former Shakhtar forward has only contributed to five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the west London side so far this season, with the player often wasting glorious chances time after time when in action for the Blues.

Players such as Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta could have also been named Chelsea’s worst player so far, but Willian’s level of performances has seen him being given this accolade.

Ideal January Signing

Juventus' Alex Sandro
Sandro would be the final piece of the puzzle for Chelsea’s defence

Something that Chelsea have been criticised for since Conte’s arrival is their inability to keep clean sheets, an aspect that has cost the Blues points time and time again.

Whilst Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have proved to be consistently impressive in the centre of defence, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses aren’t exactly player’s you’d describe as world class.

Manager Antonio Conte is eager to sign Sandro according to the Daily Mail, and the Brazilian would suit Chelsea’s style perfectly, as the 26-year-old is quality at both defending and getting forward, so signing the Brazilian would see Chelsea’s left hand side significantly improved.

Transfers Out

Chelsea defender David Luiz
Luiz’s relationship with boss Conte is still on the rocks

Since his relationship with boss Antonio Conte his a sour patch back in September according to the Evening Standard, Luiz has struggled to hold down a first team place for the Blues, and it reports suggest that he could be about to depart the Premier League champions in the near future.

Conte seems to prefer Danish youngster Andreas Christensen to the experienced Luiz, with the player’s knee injury doing him no good in his attempts to cement a first team place.

Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing the Brazilian according to Spanish news outlet Don Balon, it seems like it would make sense for Conte and Chelsea to cash in on the defender whilst they’ve got the chance.

Manager Job Safety

No manager’s job is safe with Roman Abramovich around

chelsea boss Antonio Conte
Conte’s job may be at risk should things not go his way this season

Despite managing a record-breaking Premier League season last year, Conte’s shoddy start to this Premier League campaign and the Blues’ second place finish in their Champions League group has some rumours emerge about a move for the Italian.

The Daily Star say that the Blues manager has been linked with the Real Madrid job, and with Abramovich’s notorious reputation for sacking managers, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the Italian will still be in charge of the Blues at the start of next season.

Realistic Aim for the Rest of the Season

Top four should be the minimum aim for Conte this season, with advancing in the Champions League a realistic aim for the west London side, as this season’s Barcelona side are far from unbeatable despite their current league form.

Chelsea players celebrating
Champions League should take priority for the Blues for the rest of this season

With Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard up top for the Blues, they can give any team in Europe a solid tie in the Champions League, something that should inspire the Blues to go all out for the competitions.

Should Man City not be running away with the title as they currently are, the Blues would’ve most likely been second favourites behind Man United to retain their title.

Some Blues fans may be slightly unhappy, however with Conte in charge and with Hazard in their side, Chelsea can beat anyone on their day, so don’t be surprised to see the Blues go all the way in at least one competition this season.

More Stories Alex Sandro Alvaro Morata Antonio Conte David Luiz Eden Hazard Willian